Monday, 9 March 2009

1. :: "beanshoots and broccoli"

Andrew looks up at the sign that stands in front of him. It says in bold red letters 'Zen Bar and Chinese Restaurant'. Andrew feels a lump rise in his throat, slide with gravity downwards, then settle somewhere in the bottom of his stomach. Several such lumps have been floating up and down his torso for most of the afternoon and, now, early evening. Andrew looks up at the sign again. He has not eaten but is not sure whether he will be expected to eat here. The name is confusing. He is unsure whether it is the Zen Bar or the Chinese Restaurant he will be visiting, after all, he did not organise the evening.

The door opens and a young man comes out. He asks Andrew if he is ok. Andrew has been stood outside looking at the sign and menu for nearly 10 minutes and now he goes inside through the door. The young man shows him to a table by the bar and fetches him a glass of ice with lemonade and whiskey in. The clock above the bar says 8:37 which means that Andrew is 7 minutes late so he asks the young man if anyone has asked after him. What is your name? asks the young man. Andrew. The young man says no, but that he will keep his eyes peeled.

45 minutes pass. An hour. Two hours have passed and Andrew has drunk many whiskey drinks and has eaten a bowl of noodles with beanshoots and broccoli. He pays the bill and walks on to the cold street outside and in the direction of his house. Fuck, he says out loud, but not loud enough to disturb anyone. Thanks for nothing, he says to himself.

Andrew walks home alone. He is sad and cold and is feeling more than half drunk. He thinks thoughts about loneliness and about what CD would be perfect to listen to before sleep. Something loud and angry, or something sad and quiet. Not something quick and happy. Andrew thinks about what it would feel like to jam a piece of broken glass underneath his kneecap and figures it would hurt and figures he would never do that. He likes to say things like, I would rather stab myself through the kneecap, when people suggest doing activities he does not like the sound of. He thinks about how funny he is sometimes. How everyone says he is a nice guy. How everyone says they want him to be happy and want to help him be happy. How everyone is somewhere else right now.


  1. dj's right, this is good. i just read it while chewing an entire disgusting pack of watermelon twist gum that has been sitting in my bag for weeks. i don't know why i am punishing myself. maybe because i am reading this instead of writing my paper. do you want people to start from chapter one? that might be a stupid question. but i read it backwards and liked it that way

  2. thanks
    you can read it in whateveer order
    do what ever you want
    perhaps i will reorder the chapters when it gets close to being finished
    maybe, i don't know anything